[D&D] Getting rid of multiple attacks

Jon Chung

I do it for the lulz
Validated User
... Wait, are there any such effects? I can't recall any off the top of my head, just making sure...
The most obvious is Contingency and sister effects. There are a few more, but they're splatbook powers. Like some immediate-action (reaction to action) powers in XPH, some maneuvers in Book of 9 Swords, the class ability of the Initiate of the 7-Fold Veil, etc.
 

Lugh

Retired User
In our 10th-11th campaign, iterative attacks are the least of our time hogs. The dwarven defender and my paladin can shoot off our three attacks, roll damage, and move on, in the time it takes most of our spellcasters to look up which save the opponent has to make.

Seriously, 90% of the grief behind iterative attacks can be taken care of by doing the math ahead of time. You're always going to get your BAB, your Str/Dex bonus, and any other bonuses like Weapon Specialization or magic weapon. Add it all up, and make a note on your character sheet. Subtract 5, and that's your next attack. Keep subtracting 5 until you run out of BAB. Keep that note, and the only math you generally have to do is random modifiers (e.g., bless or higher ground), and how much Power Attack you want to do (I generally, for ease of purposes, do just as much Power Attack as I'm getting from random bonuses). Then, make similar notes, adding up all the standard bonuses to your damage.

The only times that iterative attacks do tend to bog down are with the stupid miss chance rules (where you have to inexplicably roll percentile dice, instead of a d20, and there's no way to modify your miss chance, and really, it should just be a modifier to the attack roll), and with something like sneak attack, where you end up having to roll great handfuls of dice (though, it was very gratifying when my wererat rogue used his claw/claw/bite sneak attack, and rolled more d6's than the sorceror did with his fireball).
 

Mokuren

Maho shonen
Validated User
In our 10th-11th campaign, iterative attacks are the least of our time hogs. The dwarven defender and my paladin can shoot off our three attacks, roll damage, and move on, in the time it takes most of our spellcasters to look up which save the opponent has to make.
While true, that's less of a concern to me. Be aware that I play with rather inexperienced players who have to keep looking up things even if they use it every single round (and yes, I have 1 spellcasting PC in a group of 3. And she sucks at picking spells, too) so most of that bookkeeping is something I do myself, and I know which save goes where. If I don't, it's DM Fiat time!

The problem with iterative attacks is that there's no way handwaiving alone can speed things up. I have to hit AC X the same way I have to pass a DC X with a save or a skill roll, and I have multiple istances in which I roll against AC X, and have to use different bonuses with each attack. It doesn't really matter that it's always the same -5, the time taken rolling, rolling damage, re-rolling to confirm whatever and dealing with spiraling bonuses is way, way, way more than I'd take to roll a save and damage. At worst, I roll both a save and spell resistance, but that's about it.

That's what bugs me: time spent rolling. Just that.

And I play Exalted, so I'm used to lots of dice... But at least you count these dice all in the same way rather than adding wildly varying bonuses and then switching both die and bonus every single time, multiple times per round per character.

I'd suggest talking to your players before implementing any changes though, just to avoid annoying anyone who does like the current system.
Of course. I don't really foresee problems... One of said players is the caster who isn't really affected, and the other is the meleeist that I have to handwalk into anything he does, so I think these two will be grateful for any and every simplification.

I expect lots of whining from the monk, but he is a whiner anyways, he always complains about everything, so I democratically state his opinion doesn't count.

The most obvious is Contingency and sister effects. There are a few more, but they're splatbook powers. Like some immediate-action (reaction to action) powers in XPH, some maneuvers in Book of 9 Swords, the class ability of the Initiate of the 7-Fold Veil, etc.
I don't think any of that is going to be crippled/distorted/nerfed by removing iterative attacks, and none of my players have access to them anyways (their opponents will, but that's a different matter).

The only times that iterative attacks do tend to bog down are with the stupid miss chance rules (where you have to inexplicably roll percentile dice, instead of a d20, and there's no way to modify your miss chance, and really, it should just be a modifier to the attack roll), and with something like sneak attack, where you end up having to roll great handfuls of dice (though, it was very gratifying when my wererat rogue used his claw/claw/bite sneak attack, and rolled more d6's than the sorceror did with his fireball).
Ah, sneak attacks and miss chances... How I hate them.

Miss chances are going to pop out, Blur and Distortion are handy and used, so the less I roll them, the better.

Same goes for sneak attack, but there's going to be very little of that anyways.
 

DLathrop

In 'Tia and Luna's Army
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Well, your ideas for multiple attack consolidation seem fine for what you want to do. I ask only one question, then.

What about multiple targets of multiple attacks? Or are you just ruling them out?

DL.
 

OldKentuckyShark

Doritos from Japan
Validated User
In a world without iterative attacks, provided you add a compensating mechanic, Whirlwind Attack is king. As is Great Cleave

And True Strike becomes really intense.
 

Mokuren

Maho shonen
Validated User
Well, your ideas for multiple attack consolidation seem fine for what you want to do. I ask only one question, then.
What about multiple targets of multiple attacks? Or are you just ruling them out?
I was thinking something in the lines of giving a -4 penalty for attacking multiple targets in the same round, cumulative for each target.

So if I want to whack two people at once, I make two attacks at -4 each. Or three attacks at -8 each if there's three of them.

Mooks would be at only -2. Yes, I use mook rules, they're handy.

In a world without iterative attacks, provided you add a compensating mechanic, Whirlwind Attack is king. As is Great Cleave

And True Strike becomes really intense.
Mmmh, you're right about True Strike. But well, the spell's pretty broken even without my aid anyways [/lame execuse].

About Whirlwind Attack... Well, it does says you forgo multiple attacks, so if we take my hack for compensating less attacks with more damage, you're still not going to hit as hard, and I'm not too worried about Great Cleave either, it has always been better than iterative attacks anyways at taking down multiple weak opponents and not really that useful against tougher ones.

While they do get a little more useful, they're still far from the best way to deal with masses of opponents.
 

Marius B

Euro-Trash
Validated User
Then again, Star Wars Saga is doing the same sort of thing D20 Modern does, where you get extra damage instead of itertive attacks. If you want to go that route, you'll probably be well taken care of.
Buh? d20 modern gives extra attacks (but no extra damage) once your BAB exceeds +5.:confused:
 

Sangrolu

Social Justice Ninja
Validated User
I agree that of any aspect of the game that garners complaints of complications. the iterative attack mechanic is the most deserving.

Unfortunately, existing high level balance sort of banks on them, as some have noted.

My workaround in my old high-level game was to make characters use color coded d20s, roll all attacks at one, and record their results on the battle-mat or scratch paper to help avoid the confusion that arises with the "what was that roll again?", etc.
 
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